FESTIVALS! FESTIVALS! Mangyan Day: Celebrating Mangyan heritage and aspirations

​"What is the matter with you
that you are so much upset?
Like the heavens coming down,
as if the whole sky collapsed!
Even rain will stop some day,
but rain doesn't own a house!
A storm will not last all time,
but storm has no place like you!
Are you not a human? Man?
Doesn't man always go back
to his dwelling place, his home?"
This is an English translation of their signature ambahan (poem and chant) written in the Mangyan script, a centuries-old script that had been declared a national cultural treasure and inscribed in UNESCO's Memory of the World.
The Mangyans of Mindoro are among the indigenous peoples of the Philippines. They are composed of the tribes Hanunuo, Alangan, Tawbuid, Iraya, Buhid, Bangon, Tadyawan, and Ratagnon. Originally inhabiting the plains by the sea, most of them had been forced by the arrival of foreign colonizers as well as by settlers from other provinces to retreat to the mountains.
Up in the mountains, they were able to evade colonial violence and assimilation, preserve their culture, and protect their environment that they came to be known as the protectors of Mt. Halcon. 
Come travel with us to Mindoro on April 14-17 to learn more about their way of life, celebrate their heritage and their important role as stewards of nature, and also to show appreciation and solidarity in their day-to-day struggles as indigenous peoples.
*Mangyan Day is annual gathering in Mangyan communities that celebrates Mangyan culture and aspiration for human rights, ancestral land, and right to self-determination. Activities include tribal rituals and consultations, ambahan, film showing, educational discussions and workshops, skills training, cultural workshops, Mangyan handicrafts bazaar, traditional games, radio program, photo exhibit, medical and dental mission, caravan and parade, dialogues with government agencies, and boodle fight!

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